•  10 min. read  •  grade level: 7
The following is a summary of the supposed typical import of these materials.
Gold.-Type of the Divine Glory of the Lord Jesus as Son of God.
Silver.-The preciousness of the Lord Jesus as the Ransom for the sinner.
Brass.-The power of the Lord Jesus to endure the Cross, because He is God.
Blue.-The manifestation of God as love, in the ways and death of Christ.
Purple.-The manifestation of the God-man, God manifest in the flesh.
Scarlet.-The manifestation of the true dignity and glory of man as seen in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of man.
Fine linen.-The righteous man exhibiting to the eye of faith " the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
Goats' hair.-The memorial of the death of the Lord Jesus as the offering for sin.
Rams' skins dyed red. The outward aspect of Christ as the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Born in this world to die.
Badgers' skins. The outward aspect of Christ, as having no form nor comeliness to the heart of the natural man.
shittim wood. Translated by the Septuagint, " incorruptible wood." The Lord Jesus, the incorruptible man. " That holy thing," the Son of God.
Oil for the light.-The Lord Jesus as the light; filled with the Spirit.
Spices for anointing oil.-The graces of the Spirit in all their fullness manifested by the Christ.
Spices for sweet incense.-The fragrant graces of Christ made manifest on the cross, and perpetuated in His intercession.
Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and the breastplate.-The glory and brilliancy of the heavenly one reflected also in His saints.
In these two chapters, ver, 2, 3, and 5, 21, 24; also chapter 36:3, 6, the word " offering," is a peculiar word in the Hebrew; translated as in the margin, " heave-offering." It occurs again with reference to the silver atonement money, (Ex. 30:13,14,15,) and it also peculiarly designates the right shoulder of certain sacrifices, therefore called the heave shoulder.
The meaning of the word appears to be something lifted on high off the ground. It alludes to the complete separation of the Lord Jesus to God. One who though on the earth, was not of the world; and who was peculiarly lifted up in separation to God on the cross, and again. raised up to the glory of God in resurrection.
These " heave offerings" were to be given with the heart, willingly, (Ex. 25:2;35:5, 22;) not of constraint or necessity, for God loveth the cheerful giver.
Although the tabernacle and its ritual service was connected with the law; yet as it contained types and figures of Christ, and good things to come, the principles of grace here and there break through the rigidity of commandments.
No true worship can be rendered to God, if the soul be in legal bondage. Neither can God accept the constrained formal obedience of a slavish heart. The willing heart, the free-will offerings, which are the result of a conscience and heart at liberty, are His delight. He is a God who giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and He expects from His own children the expression of His own character.
The whole life and ways of His beloved Son were expressive of self-devotedness to Him; and a delight in doing His will. And if we would present any acceptable worship or service, we must offer it not only through the Lord Jesus, but in the spirit of the Lord." And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them." (ver. 8.)
This was the great purpose which God had in view that He might have a holy place in the midst of a people whom He had chosen; by means of which He might not only occasionally visit them, but dwell amongst them. And He has accomplished this blessed purpose through Him to whom the tabernacle pointed. Believers in the Lord Jesus are the temple of God, (1 Cor. 3:16;) they are such corporately as the household of God; a building fitly framed together, growing into an holy temple in the Lord-" builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Eph. 2:19-22.) Each believer also individually is a temple of God. " Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost." (1 Cor. 6:19.) These two wondrous facts result from the Church being the body of Christ, in whom dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and, our bodies being the members of Christ.
The tabernacle was to a certain extent the dwelling-place of the priests. They encamped before it, and ate the show-bread in the holy place, and also portions of the sacrifices in the court of the tabernacle.
One great desire of God is to have us (creatures though we be of His) in unbroken fellowship with Himself forever; and also that we may have fellowship with Him. If we would preserve the consciousness of His presence, we must remember the precept, 2 Cor. 6:14-18: " Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
Five different words are here used to express every shade of fellowship. What fellowship hath righteousness and lawlessness? What communion hath light towards darkness? What concord hath Christ towards Belial? Or, what part hath the believer with the unbeliever? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
The first word here translated "fellowship," implies the holding of something together with another. The second word, " communion," seems to involve common interests, resulting from communion in life. The third is well expressed by our word " concord," or agreement in sound and voice with another. The fourth means a share or part in some common object. And the fifth, " agreement," in the way of holding a common sentiment.
The unbeliever is therefore in this passage, considered to be in lawlessness, in darkness, under the sway of Belial, and a worshipper of idols. What a fearful description this is of the worldly-minded unsaved sinner, and yet how true! On the other hand, into what wonderful nearness to God is the believer brought, so as to have common interests; fellowship in life; complete concord of heart; a share in all the rich treasures of glory, and agreement with the thoughts and mind of God.
There are three precepts, (Deut. 22:9-11,) which contain very clear directions respecting the conduct and service of the believer. One of these is referred to in the passage in Cor. quoted above.
" Thou shall not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard be defiled.
" Thou shall not plow with an ox and an ass together. " Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together."
The first of these should regulate our testimony in the church of God. The divers seeds may be very good in their way, and very useful in their proper place. But in the church of God the incorruptible seed of the word alone is to be used. And the servant of God having such a ministry, should follow the example of the apostle Paul, using great plainness of speech, declaring the testimony of God, not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and of power. The object before us, when engaged in the work of the Lord, should be to raise the heart and conscience towards God; and not the mere pleasing the ear, or gratifying the understanding.
In these days, mixed seed is widely scattered; and it is thought by many Christians that a legitimate way of spreading the truths connected with Christ and the Gospel, is to mix them up with science, literature, fiction, and philosophy. But this, however it may be done with the best motives, is not in agreement with the precept here alluded to; nor in accordance with the ways of the apostle, who when he came to the most learned and philosophic people in the world, determined not to know anything among them, save Jesus Christ-Him crucified.
The second precept, "thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together," refers to our fellowships. The yoke would rest unevenly upon the ox and ass if they were harnessed together in the plow. One also would retard or pull aside the other. Thus an uneven furrow would be the result, and the work of tillage be imperfectly done.
Any partnership or yoking together the believer with the unbeliever must result in the hindrance of the Lord's work, and in damage to the believer himself. It is impossible for the two to pull together. Their interests, their objects, their desires, their very speech must be different; and the uneven union must result in the compromise of truth and godliness on the part of the child of God; by means of which his testimony will be marred, and his own soul will lose much of conscious fellowship with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
The third commandment, " thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together," refers to the every day habit of the child of God.
In a changeable climate, where cold may follow heat in rapid succession; or where the chilly air of night soon dissipates all the warmth of the sun; it would be very convenient to have a garment, woven of woolen and linen, so as not to be over hot in the day, and to afford sufficient heat at night.
A believer will avoid a good deal of reproach, and escape much contempt if he cleverly adapts himself to the various companies with which he may mingle. A kind of dress, or outward appearance suited to all society.
This " Linsey-woolsey " Christianity is certainly comfortable as one passes through the world; but it suits not the true believer. He should wear his priestly linen garment on all occasions, he should enter no society where he is obliged to conceal it. His life should be Christ. " To me to live is Christ." And no one should be able to question the reality of his faith, or the fact of his being not of the world; although many may ridicule his folly, or esteem his ways to be those of one not in his right mind.
May the Lord help us all to be more true to Him, and to His Cross. Less conformed to the world, and more manifestly transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We "are the temple of the living God."Jesus Christ is in us. Therefore we are exhorted to come out from among unbelievers and to be separate, and not to touch the unclean thing; then shall we fully know God as our Father, and we shall be living as the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty.